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Secret Saturday, 11 August 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Reviews.
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This is the same gal. Lin-Mei Kwai (or pronounced Lun-Mei Guey in Mandarin),  in Blue Gate Crossing. She does look very different, isn’t it? Apparently, she was talent spotted from outside a train station to star in the movie. And her looks and acting in that movie caught Jay Chou’s attention. His first movie ‘Secret‘ (Mandarin: ‘bu neng shuo de mi mi’) sounds interesting and reviews mentioned that the show is accompanied by very nice piano pieces (performed by Jay himself, of course). Both the supposedly good plot and the musical accompaniment warrant a visit to the cinema me think! But Y isn’t too fond of Mandarin movies….

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Blue Gate Crossing Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General, Reviews.
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I had a quick look at the another Taiwanese movie called ‘Blue Gate Crossing’. It centres on the relationship between two teens – a boy and a girl. The movie is another rather typical fare of coming to terms with being gay, very much like the previous Taiwanese movie I watched – Eternal Summer . However, unlike Eternal Summer, there is no complicated triangle relationship in this movie although there was a tinge of it. Another main difference in the show is that the story tried to deal with the gay issue from the girl’s perspective, which may be to the dismay of the gay population given that the actor is a dimpled-smile cute lad.

Blue Gate Crossing                          The girl and her lad

It is a simple and rather predictable story saved by the way it was produced. There is something about such Taiwanese movies that draws me. Maybe I am a sucker for sweet innocent shows. Did the girl save herself from a tortured life of finding true love while being gay? Or did she suppress her liking for girls to live a normal life? Well, I am not about to spoil it for you in case you haven’t watched it. Further review at IMDB but be warned – its review could be a spoiler! In any case, the movie reminded me of this pair of siblings.

The sister is quite openly butch with a girlfriend that pops over to the family home ever so often. The brother is openly hostile to the sister and her supposed girlfriend. I find it sad that the brother is unable to accept her for who she is and support her to be the best person she can be, be it as a gay person or not. I think the brother believes that it is a choice in life to be either gay or straight (“nurture” advocate)and blames her for choosing the other camp. The tense relationship and the mutual dislike (bordering on hatred) is certainly making their mother upset and I can see that there is nothing she can do to change the situation. But I wonder whether she did persuade her son to accept the sister as she is. Perhaps, it is more complicated than that as the siblings didn’t grow up well together. I personally see her as a person with good potential if she is in the right company and channels her energy productively. This makes me wonder whether sometimes it is easier for an outsider to accept a gay person than a person who is related to that gay person?

Our Happier Lives (?) Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General, Rantings.
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I have taken a hiatus from writing since my last entry almost a month ago. It seems to be the case whenever I’m in Singapore. I guess I never felt inclined to write about the “normal” things that happen, and most often than not, they are normal. But I did reflect on how Singapore is faring currently. The economy for the last quarter has shown improvement, thanks to the construction and finance industries. The construction industry has not seen such high activity levels since pre-financial crisis days. This has translated to better business sentiments and general sense of optimism amongst Singaporeans. Many have been upgrading their properties, with the rich buying new developments at record psf prices and sending property sale and rental prices north.

Besides focusing on the economic front, the government has also placed much emphasis on the arts, cultural and entertainment scene in an attempt to make Singapore a fun place to live and work in. But I wonder, despite all these good things in their lives now, are the locals actually benefiting from it or the expatriates? Has our society evolved to be more gracious? Personally I do think that we have. Unfortunately, the presence of  much needed foreign workers seemed to have marred this somewhat. I say this because I cringe whenever I see a certain country’s nationals speaking loudly and their uncouth behaviour which early generations of Singaporeans probably exhibited (and some probably still do today). There was a recent article in the forum pages of the Strait’s Times which highlighted an unfortunate incident in a bus. Apparently, a Caucasian woman (she certainly do not qualify to be called a lady) was ranting madly and loudly at the bewildered (or nonchalent?) and seemingly Singaporean passengers about how coarse Singaporeans are, how unhelpful they are etc etc. It seems she was unable to get some help when she asked for it. But surely it did not warrant that appalling response from her. I wondered if she had stopped to think whether the person(s) she spoke to in the bus before a raving mad behaviour were Singaporeans. If they were not, it should not be surprising to get no response from them as most of them so not understand English! Much like any other cosmolitan city, we have a large proportion of people from other countries. Lately, we have a significantly large population of mainland Chinese here, and nowadays they are not discernable from Singaporean Chinese based on dressing (oh yes, there was a time when one could pick a mainland Chinese out from the crowd based on that!). It is only through their speech (often loud) can one tell them apart.

There was also a recent discussion about repealing the gay sex laws in Singapore. I was personally interested in this as I do have gay friends (who probably will live their lives as they deem fit regardless of this law). Unfortunately, after doing a survey, the government felt that it was not the right time to repeal the law which means sex between consenting males (of legal age) is still against the law. This discussion goes to show that it is never easy to differentiate between right and wrong, or, moral and immoral. Who are the best judges for such matters? The general public, grassroot leaders, religious leaders or political leaders? Is the non-gay public so afraid of the hedonistic lifestyle that apprently characterises gay people that they think the rest of the non-gay population and the impressionable young will be swayed to the “dark side” if gay sex is made legal? Personally, I think we have not progressed much despite having done so in other areas like the arts. I feel that it is a basic right of a citizen to live the way they want. I wonder why nobody question the potential mental anguish and harm that can be imposed on such people to live a life that they do not believe in? I wonder how many people have grappled with the mental anguish to be told that one is a sinner (by the Church) if one is gay when one does not choose to be. Surely the mentally weaker ones will fall into depression in time? Is medication an answer then? What are the fundamentals of our society? In any case, I suspect whatever the outcome of such discussions is, live will go on with the government closing an eye to this issue.

Anyway, these are my personal thoughts and not meant to incite whatever nonsense that disagreers may charged me with.

On a happer note, I can finally breath a sigh of relief and stop my job hunting – I’ve found a job!

“I Never Look Back” – Part 1 Monday, 25 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General, Personal.
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“I never look back”, my friend W said when we were having dinner one night in London. We were talking about the days when we had lots of fun and the times when things weren’t going too well between him and his other friends. Apparently, I am the only one that was reminiscing the past. In my pursuit of an ideal life, amidst all the changes occurring in my life right now, I sometimes find myself pausing from what I was doing and taking stock of my life. In my earlier post “Sliding Doors”, I pondered on the possibilities of an uncertain future. But many other occasions, I would always think of the past, especially when I see certain things that brings back memories, and wonder how I would have turned out if my decisions had been different. Ironically, given the often pensive nature of my friend W, it appears he is more forward in his outlook than I am. I guess I am in a really pensive mood right now as I sit facing the runway as the sky gets darker. My flight will not board for another 2 hours.

I started wondering again how my life would have turned out especially after …. continued in the next post.

Protected: “I Never Look Back” – Part 2 Monday, 25 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Personal.
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Eternal Summer Saturday, 23 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Reviews.
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This isn’t a posting about my summer in the UK but it’ll be nice to have an eternal summer here in the UK – sunshine and the cool air.

Anyway, I had just watched a Taiwanese movie called Eternal Summer. It was about the relationship that had developed between 2 men, Shane and Jon  (the loosely anglicised names as given by the subtitles), from the time they were boys. The usual issues associated with falling in love with a same-sex best mate could be seen in the movie – sacrifices, fear of rejection, fear of losing the friendship and fear of admitting the reality of one’s feelings. The feelings that Jon developed for Shane was ironic as he never wanted to befriend him when they were just boys. While Shane, who loves Carrie who initially loved Jon, could not do without Jon and had constantly sought his companionship (even while being with Carrie), much to the detriment of Jon’s academic performance.

Jon, Carrie and Shane

The show does not attempt to clarify the situation developing between the 2 men. For example, while physical intimacy occurred between the 2 men, it happened when Shane was supposedly drunk. But I personally don’t think that a truly drunk person can have done much other than fall flat and sleep (at least based on what I have witnessed recently).

 Is this the moment Jon has been waiting for or is it just a one nighter?

Similarly, the movie ended enigmatically, leaving me to ponder whether Shane has accepted Jon and is willing to be involved in a gay relationship. In the show’s closing, Shane uttered,”You are really my best friend.” (which happened to be the same term used by a “Dear GB” writer). What does it mean?!!? Perhaps he has acknowledged that he loves Jon but is unwilling to come to terms with being gay? The show also features a 3rd-party to the relationship – Carrie. Unfortunately, the movie again left me wondering how it ends for her. Is love so strong amongst the three that they could accept being a threesome (of course Shane would be the lucky devil, wouldn’t he?)? Or will she leave the 2 men?

On the whole, I kinda enjoyed the show only because I know it can be very real.

Armani Attitude Friday, 22 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Objects of my desire.
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I was bored at W’s place where I was staying for a few days when I picked up a magazine to read. I came across an ad for the new Armani Attitude for men.

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I liked it immediately as I thought the perfume canister was well designed in a functional sort of way. It was designed to look like an expensive cigarette lighter, probably to appeal to either smokers or to the musculinity in men. I can imagine carrying it with in my bag wherever I go. It probably can replace the old canister of a perfume I have in my bag currently. However, for two things which would otherwise make for a perfect buy – the strange combination of coffee and lemon scent and that the bottle was not designed to be refilled.

My new perfume?

Missing A Good Workout Monday, 18 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Personal, Pics.
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I’ve been away for almost a month now and I am missing one thing that has been a regular feature of mine since I was a teen – gym and running. I think I had lost some muscle mass or definition, not very new complaints I know. Anyway, I was just trying out the photo taking capability of my web cam at my friend’s place when I was mildly surprised by the picture. Either the angle, capturing the light and shadows, was perfect or I haven’t lost that much muscle definition, huh? :p But horrors of horrors, I think I might have put on weight (i.e. fats!) around the waist!

That ain’t to bad, is it? ;)

An End To A Nice Summer Saturday, 16 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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The few weeks that I have in London is finally coming to an end. It has been a very good trip for me. I was living in the city and enjoying every moment of it like any of her citizens instead of a tourist pre-occupied with visiting every single tourist spot there is. I even had the opportunities to visit some friends some of whom I have not met for years and some whom I have yet to meet in person. One of them is GB. We were able to meet up for dinner one night. I remember I haven’t been drinking for some time, especially on an empty stomach. So by the time we moved on from our pre-dinner drinks, I was already feeling the effect of the alcohol and hoping I wouldn’t make a fool of myself even before we reached the restaurant! The venue was well chosen by GB and we had a good view of the River Thames and its surrounding buildings. Being slightly drunk (the wine did not help at all), I think I might have been too blunt to tell GB that his avatar does not resemble him at all. Thankfully, he did not seem to have taken offence. In all, it was a lovely evening made all the better by the company.

Summer in the UK Monday, 11 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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I’ve been in the UK for 2 weeks now and my stay here has been wonderful so far. The weather has been good so far as it should be since it is summer. So far I have met up with a few friends and relatives that I have in the UK and I am feeling quite pleased about it. It felt strange recounciling the fact that it seems like only a month that I have left them when in fact it has been 6 years. My aunt has kept well in the past 6 years and she doesn’t look any different from the time I left her. And it is certainly very nice staying in a nice peaceful neighbourhood in London where I can see the River Thames and being only half an hour to 45 minutes away from central London. I can even see HSBC, Credit Suisse and Citibank’s skyscrapers which always make me wonder if I’ll ever work in one of these banks. Well, I am praying hard that it’ll work out after the second interview that I had with an investment bank. Hopefully, I will find this job waiting for me when I get back to Singapore.

 Now, I am sitting in front of the telly and enjoying the evening news on TV with my friend’s GQ. I really like the feeling of enjoying an easy evening with a bit of light reading. Now, if only the thoughts of looming assignment and final year project deadlines will stop nagging me at the back of my mind and leave me to enjoy the magazine and the evening for a bit before I start working again.